Thursday, October 8, 2020

4 Part Apology

Apologize like you mean it.  We can probably all remember a time where our parents told us to apologize to a sibling or playmate, and after reciting non-enthusiastic "I'm sorry" we heard "say it like you mean it!"  Remember how difficult it was to find a tone that met parent approval?  I thought more about my tone and less about the action I needed to change.  The act of saying "I'm sorry" just seemed like a formality that didn't mean anything.

For the last few years at Achieve we've been practicing The 4 Part Apology - a communication tool that allows us to resolve conflicts in a thoughtful way instead of in anger or defense.  We talk about this concept in class and in Morning Assembly.  Here the main idea:
  • Apologize: Remorsefully saying "I'm sorry for _____" and name the action.  "I'm sorry for shoving you."
  • Admission:Acknowledging the action AND the negative impact it had.  "This was wrong because I could've hurt you.  I didn't talk to you about why I was upset."
  • Recommit:Name what you will do in the future.  "In the future I will talk to you about what bothered me."  Change your actions and mend the relationship.
  • Forgiveness:Asking "Will you forgive me?" and/or "What can I do to help you feel better?"  

Here's how we break it down for our students:












Friday, September 25, 2020

ST Math @ Home (2020)

Have you heard about Jiji?  Spatial Temporal Math (ST Math) is a game based online learning program that has ACS students swept up in a learning frenzy!  Kindergarten students begin by learning an 8 icon password.  After they play a few modules they will learn the rest of their 13 icon password.  (It's pretty impressive!)


  
Our kindergarten in-class goal is for students to play for at least 60 minutes per week.  (We work up to this time recommendation).  ST Math will be included in Seesaw assinments, however your student will probably wat to play more than wht is assigned - GO FOR IT!
  • Please monitor your kindergartner's work to make sure siblings are not playing levels on your kindergartner's account.  
  • When finished make sure your kindergartner logs out (this saves student progress).  (Click the back arrow icon at the top left of your iPad display.)  


Thursday, August 6, 2020

What in the world is a PLP?

As the parent of an incoming kindergartner you are about to add a handful of new acronyms to your lexicon.  While these acronyms won't earn you street cred among texting tweens (LOL), you'll be "in the know" with happenings at Achieve.  


PLP - this stands for a Personalized Learning Plan.  A PLP is essentially a conversation we will begin in kindergarten, the document recording that conversation will be used as a tool for helping your child challenge him/herself through their stay here at Achieve.  PLP’s are a unique feature of ACS, they give teachers a jump start to best meet the needs of your student.  We'll revisit this document together throughout the year, noting progress towards academic/social skills, addressing learning gaps, setting goals and noting achievement, and putting students in the driver seat of their own educational journey.  It's a pretty powerful thing to witness end-of-year ACS kindergarten students leading their own PLP Conference discussion - communicating their own well thought out goals for the trimester and life.  Our 2020 PLPs will take place via Zoom - I'll be sending you a Zoom invite soon.

Baby steps.  Here's how to prepare for your family's first PLP Conference:
  • Inform your child that they will see their Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Wright.   I will ask your child about some of his/her interests (practice with your child at home!)  After we talk for a few minutes the kindergartner may be excused.
  • We will continue our conversation, be prepared to share your child's strengths and areas for growth.  Share any food allergies, if your child wears glasses, if he/she is right or left handed, or concerns at this time.  
  • Conferences will last around 20-30 minutes.
  • It is alright to have siblings near the screen for our Zoom conference, however I recommend making efforts to minimize distractions for your kindergartner for our initial meeting.   :)







Thursday, April 2, 2020

Hippity Hoppity Easter's ON IT'S WAY!

As I was doing a little online shopping this morning I thought I'd share some fun new toy ideas that might keep your kindergartner outta your hair for a bit!  These toys are available on Amazon right now...
       


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

You are a Good Parent

We live in a world where it is easy to compare ourselves to others and worry what others think about us.  The temptation is everywhere, we're all at-risk for playing the comparison game.

I feel 'ya moms and dads, I am with you.

Our kids don't care if our Pinterest attempt fell in the nailed it category, or if we {seemingly} have everything together.  All that our kids really want and need is US.  Our best, unplugged and raw selves.  They need to see us make mistakes and rise above them, work through our insecurities and weaknesses, set personal goals and reach them.  To be strong examples. They need to hear us apologize to them and admit when we've wronged them, they need to know that they are more important than our phones. They need encouragement, unconditional love and someone who wholeheartedly believes in them and tells them so.  They need to hear us remind them about the gifts and talents they've been given, and they need someone to fill up their buckets with positive talk and affirmation so that they can overflow with those words too.

Here's my charge:  If you are believing the lie that you are not good enough, STOP BELIEVING IT. You ARE a good mom, despite the fact that your last Facebook post got less likes than your friend's did, or the fact that your preschooler bit A HUMAN BEING last week at school.  Oops.  Just keep telling yourself, YOU ARE A GOOD PARENT, and what you are doing is important.




Monday, January 6, 2020

Letter/Sound & Sight Word Practice


I can tell you've been practicing letter sounds and sight words with your kids at home!  You've been at the memorization game with your kiddo for a few months now, and you might be ready for a few extra resources to keep your kindergartner motivated and excited to learn.  Whether your student is working on memorizing letter sounds or sight words, linked below are some ideas for your kindergartner.  Click the pictures for explanations and resources.

Helpful memorization hints:
  • start with a few letter sounds or sight words at a time, once your child has memorized one replace it with a new flashcard
  • get your kids moving!  Movement during learning adds an extra element that helps to cement the concept.

FLASHCARD DOWNLOADS:
ABC Flashcards with Zoophonics Hint
ABC Flashcards - Letters Only
ABC Flashcard Generator - create custom ABC flashcards (capital only, lowercase only, etc)
Kindergarten  & 1st Grade Sight Words Flashcards (the kindergarten words are the first 25 words listed)


This blog: No Time for Flashcards has endless ideas for getting your kiddo moving and learning.  Search by grade and subject for high-interest activities.

HAPPY LEARNING!








Wednesday, October 9, 2019

ST Math

Have you heard about Jiji?  Spatial Temporal Math (ST Math) is a game based online learning program that has ACS students swept up in a learning frenzy!  Kindergarten students begin by learning an 8 icon password.  After they play a few modules they learn the rest of their 13 icon password.  Students will only be able to access their account at home after they have learned all 13 characters.  Playing two full objectives at school before the program unlocks at-home helps to ensure they can navigate the system comfortably.

  1. Download the free ST Math app in the app store or go to www.stmath.com. (not available for phones)
  2. Click Jiji.  Your student can begin entering their unique 13 icon password.  If your student is having difficulty with this they:   
    • have not reached the point in the program where the at-home portion is unlocked or 
    • your child needs help with password retraining (a setting I can enable at school).
  3. Play!  Our kindergarten in-class goal is for students to play for at least 60 minutes per week. Playing at home will help students ACHIEVE their 1st award (a "Jiji Tag" is given to students when they reach 20% of curriculum completion - I will email you when your student is earning a tag at our Wildcat Wednesday morning assembly).   We award tags at 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% completion.  
  • Please monitor your kindergartner's work to make sure siblings are not playing levels on your kindergartner's account.  
  • When finished make sure your kindergartner logs out all the way.  (Click the back arrows until you reach the red "X".  When the red "X" is clicked a little bubble will float off the screen, saving your child's work.

More detailed directions with pictures can be found here.